Nicole Kidman sports bulging biceps in unrecognisable photoshoot

Nicole Kidman almost looks unrecognisable in a new magazine cover shoot. (Perfect Magazine/Zhong Lin)
Nicole Kidman almost looks unrecognisable in a new magazine cover shoot. (Perfect Magazine/Zhong Lin)

Fresh from Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week, where she not only owned the catwalk but street style too, Nicole Kidman has cemented her status as a couture fashion icon in an unexpected new cover shoot.

Kidman, 55, posed up a storm on the front cover of the latest issue of Perfect magazine, flashing her toned abs and showcasing her bulging biceps.

The actor took on a ‘strong man pose’, but was every bit the inspirational image of a super strong woman on the edgy cover shoot.

The mother-of-four defied her 55 years as she posed confidently with her muscular legs astride and arms flexed for the magazine’s latest edition in which the publication honoured the actor with its Perfect Icon award.

The sci-fi-esque look features an instartsia halter-neck top and padded wraparound skirt by Diesel (styled by Robbie Spence), in a look I can only compare to The Fifth Element’s Leeloo (played by Milla Jovovich).

The Australian/American actor’s hair, a dramatic departure from her usual blonde locks, is styled in a bright copper hue with sharp blunt cut at the front, whilst the rest of her hair flows over her (extremely chiselled) shoulders.

Read more: Nicole Kidman turns heads with extreme eyewear in Paris

The cover photo was one of a series of high-fashion avant-garde images taken by Malaysian-Chinese photographer Zhong Lin for the third issue of Perfect magazine, which celebrates pop culture's greatest icons. An interview by Jason Campbell accompanied the photoshoot.

The magazine launched the annual awards this year in a bid to recognise people who are “shaping contemporary culture.”

(Perfect Magazine/Zhong Lin)
A second cover features in an outfit by Glenn Martens, creative director of both Diesel and Y/Project, and winner of the Perfect Fashion award. (Perfect Magazine/Zhong Lin)

“At a time when the validity of awards ceremonies is in question, and the red-carpet spectacle of presentations is dominated by the awarding bodies and the presenters, we wanted to shift the focus back on those who we think deserve to be rewarded,” Perfect said.

Read more: Nicole Kidman's most extravagant fashion moments to date

Kidman and stylist Katie Grande have a long history of iconic covers together. The Perfect magazine director has previously collaborated with the actor for issues of LOVE magazine, for which she sported a red swimsuit and cowboy hat on one cover, and styled Kidman amongst other actors for the cover of Vanity Fair’s February issue which caused a stir of its own earlier this year.

Kidman wore the then-viral Miu Miu mini skirt for the 28th annual Hollywood Issue with a cropped version around her bust, which left her midriff bare, and some social media users claimed it was too ‘raunchy’ for someone of Kidman’s age, and accused the magazine of photoshopping her body.

However, Kidman later revealed it was her ideal to wear the fashion house's pleated mini low-rise skirt all along.

Speaking in conversation with Baz Luhrmann for Vogue Australia's June issue, the actor revealed that another outfit had been planned out for her, but she 'begged' Grand to let her wear the mini skirt instead.

“I was like, ‘No, no, I like this one! Am I allowed to wear that?’”' she recalled from the day of the cover shoot.

Nicole continued: “Katie was like, ‘You're willing to wear that?!’ And I said, ‘Wear it?! I'm begging you to wear it!’”

The full Nicole Kidman shoot and interview features in Perfect Issue Three ‘Perfect Awards’ Autumn/Winter 2022, which goes on newsstands 1 September.

Watch: Kim Kardashian and Nicole Kidman walk runway at Balenciaga fashion show